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HTC exec makes wild claim VR will overtake smartphones in 4 years

HTC just started shipping its first-generation virtual reality headset a few weeks ago, but the company already has high hopes for Vive and the entire VR market. According to Alvin Wang Graylin, who heads HTC’s VR division in China, the new technology could overtake the smartphone market in just four years.

Graylin made the prediction during a press conference in Beijing focused on bringing the HTC Vive to China, Tech Sina reports. He also noted that it took about five years for smartphone sales to surpass the personal computer after the first iPhone launched, suggesting VR adoption could happen even faster.

In an effort to speed up the process, HTC is also launching Vive X, a new accelerator program for startups working in virtual reality. The program will start in Beijing, Tapei and San Francisco with a $100 million investment fund. The company says its goal is to encourage developers to create content for the Vive.

“We are very excited about gathering the brightest and the most creative minds to join Vive X,” said HTC CEO Cher Wang. “Virtual reality is changing the world, yet to do that effectively it needs a healthy eco-system to expand into the mass market.”

Creating great games and experiences is only half the battle. HTC also needs to keep improving the Vive’s hardware to make it more user-friendly.

We’ve reached out to HTC to confirm Graylin’s statements but a spokesperson was not immediately available.

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...